My Virginia personal injury attorney colleagues and I spend a lot of time helping people who have suffered serious back and neck injuries in car accidents caused by other drivers. But every time we think we've seen and heard everything, we make a new discovery.
This happened to me a few days ago when I stumbled across an article on Piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is one of the muscles in the butt cheek. It sort of wraps around the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the ankle along the rear of the leg. When the nerve becomes inflamed or impinged, people can experience debilitating, burning and pulsing pain. A rare compication involves shortening of one leg.
Piriformis syndrome develops when that butt muscle spasms and, in layman's terms, squeezes the sciatic nerve. One of the common reasons the muscle starts spasming is trauma like the kind that occurs during a T-bone (i.e., side-impact) or rear-end car crash.
While Piriformis syndrome appears reasonably easy to treat without surgery, few doctors and physical therapist know much about the condition and even less about how to diagnosis it. A missed diagnosis of the cause of back pain often leads to months, if not years, of needless suffering and mounting medical expenses. Patients can also receive potentially harmful prescription painkillers and undergo unnecessary, high-risk surgical procedures.
The lesson for anyone who continues to suffer sciatica-like symptoms following a car accident is to ask your doctors and therapists about Piriformis syndrome. This is advice we intend to begin giving clients who consult us over such problems. Securing just compensation for crash victims is just one goal. The most important job we have is helping them recover.